The simplest vegan basil and pine nuts pesto. Delicious and ready in just 5 minutes.

by Jan Vasil
The simplest vegan basil and pine nuts pesto.

I’ve made the basil pesto a few times in my life. But until now, it was always a regular one made with Parmesan cheese.

A few weeks ago I switched to the plant-based diet and therefore I had to adjust my cooking and recipes. When it came to pesto I had to search for the ingredients that are the best for it.

After a few trials, I think that I find the best combination. This pesto is refreshing, light, and flavourful.

The best part is that it will be ready in less than 5 minutes and you can use it in many dishes. Like gnocchi, oven-roasted potatoes, in salads or just over a toast with some cherry tomatoes.

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And what you will need to make this vegan pesto?

First of all a goon linseed oil. I have tried to make it with olive oil too, but that was simply too flavourful. The linseed oil is more balanced in taste and therefore you will be able to taste more basil.

Another key ingredient is a bunch of fresh spinach leaves. You know, pure basil pesto can sometimes turn out a little bit bitter. So adding a bunch of spinach will balance it out. Also, when you are on a vegan diet it is good to control your iron level. And as spinach contains a lot of it, it is actually a very healthy addition.

The third ingredient is the pine nuts. You could also use walnuts, almonds or cashews but the pine nuts have simply the best taste.

So how to make the simplest vegan basil and pine nuts pesto?

The simplest vegan basil and pine nuts pesto.

4 from 1 vote
Recipe by Jan Vasil Course: Recipe book, VeGaN mealsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


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A super easy and delicious pesto perfect for gnocchi.

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  • 1 cup of fresh handpicked basil leaves

  • a handful of fresh spinach leaves

  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon

  • 1 peeled garlic clove

  • 2 pinches of sea salt

  • 1/4 cup of a linseed oil

  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts


  • Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend on medium to high speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and blend for another 1-2 minutes. In case the pesto is too thick you can also add a bit more linseed oil.
  • Finish the pesto with more salt or lemon juice if needed.
  • Enjoy warm or cold.


  • The pesto will last for up to one week in the fridge. Just keep it closed in an airtight container.
  • For the pesto you can also add walnuts, almonds or cashews.

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The simplest vegan basil and pine nuts pesto.
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Joan September 30, 2020 - 7:15 am

This was delicious. I have never subbed out some of the basil for spinach. What a great idea. Loved the lemon in here. Super quick and easy. I toasted my pine nuts very lightly out of habit. I will be trying all your vegan recipes. Thank you!

tasteisyours October 1, 2020 - 11:03 am

Hello Joan, thank you for the nice comment 🙂 I am really glad you like the recipe 🙂 Also, the idea of toasting the pine nuts sounds very good. Will have to try that. PS: I am looking forward to hearing how you like another vegan recipes. Jan


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Dive into the rich tapestry of Central Eastern European culture with “Taste Is Yours,” a culinary journey that celebrates the region’s deep-rooted gastronomic traditions. From the hearty stews of Hungary to the iconic dumplings of Poland, our blog is a tribute to the authentic dishes that have graced family tables for generations.


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